Follow by Email

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Christopher - Day 4 Tectonic Plates

Haiti has suffered an unimaginable disaster. Today the Land Rover bringing us back from the hospital cut through the centre of town. It is a scene of utter destruction and dereliction. Hundreds of people are still picking over the ruins trying to salvage wood and anything valuable. Fires burn lazily throwing up plumes of black smoke which pervade everything with the horrid smell of burning human flesh. It is now 2 weeks since the earthquake but they are still burning the bodies where they find them. 100,000 dead and that is only the bodies which they have found! Who knows how many more are under the untouched piles of rubble?

The earthquake in Haiti is the result of a gigantic geological accident. Tectonic plates from different continents are colliding. Local medical professionals and international medical professionals are trying to work together but are also learning that we have a completely different approach to patients and their injuries.

Lots of work to do

Today the cases poured in again. There are patients with amputated limbs. Then there are crush and burn wounds.  I cannot conceive how these poor people have survived with the pain that they must have been in these last two weeks. Certainly I am completely obsessed with the thought of what agony these patients must have been in for the last two weeks. And they are the tip of the iceberg. They survived. Some died at once, others slowly and in agony.

Sustainable medical care is needed 

Tonight we had a meeting of the Doctors of the World (Medecins du Monde) staff back at the house where we are camped. At the meeting it was discussed how the effort we are making now must be the beginning of an even bigger sustained programme, not the end of an emergency response. We now need teams to re-fashion the stumps of patients so that they are closed properly. Then we need limb-fitters and physiotherapists to get these patients going.

I cannot imagine where the money is going to come from to reconstruct this poor and terribly damaged country, but ideas and concepts come free.

No comments:

Post a Comment